S&P says India’s Adani Ports debt buyback to cut refinancing risk

BENGALURU (Reuters) – India’s Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone could reduce refinancing risks after announcing a bond buyback worth up to $130 million, S&P Global Ratings said on Tuesday, citing the likelihood of a healthy cash flow in the current fiscal year.

The company, part of the beleaguered Adani Group, should be able to lower its debt well ahead of the maturity of its unsecured notes worth $650 million, due in July 2024, S&P added.

Billionaire Gautam Adani-backed marine port services company said on Monday it floated a tender of up to $130 million in outstanding debt, as it seeks to boost investor confidence after the group’s shares were pummelled earlier this year by a U.S. short-seller’s scathing report.

Adani Group’s seven listed stocks have lost roughly $114 billion in market value since Hindenburg Research’s report on Jan. 24 accused the conglomerate of unlawful use of offshore tax havens and stock manipulation and flagged concerns over high debt. Adani has denied the allegations.

S&P said it expects the company to have sufficient cash balance to repay its $130 million of the notes and that Adani Ports is likely to have an operating cash flow of 89 billion rupees ($1.09 billion) for fiscal 2024.

Shares of Adani Ports have declined nearly 6% since the Hindenburg report.

($1 = 81.9160 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Yagnoseni Das in Bengaluru; editing by Eileen Soreng)